Sunday, January 15, 2017
At the beginning of a new year, many of us make resolutions, committing ourselves to changes that will make us a better person. Our spiritual life might also benefit from changes. The first two Sundays of Ordinary Time focus on the call of the Lord, an ideal starting point for a recommitment to discipleship.
Who is the servant in the First Reading? Is it Isaiah himself, or the whole of the people? In any case, the servant is the one or ones who will make God known to the ends of the earth. Chosen by God, the servant’s mission is to be a light to the nations.
The psalm refrain could serve as our first words in prayer every day. If we take seriously our identity as the servant of the Lord, what better posture of readiness could we adopt?
Paul begins his first letter to the Corinthians by announcing that he is an Apostle of the Lord. We know from Paul’s writings that he did not meet Jesus, yet he says that his ministry is in Jesus’ name. Like the servant in Isaiah, who was formed “from the womb,” Paul believes that his mission predates his life. It was God’s plan that he be a servant of the Lord.
Unlike the synoptic Gospel accounts, John does not describe the baptism of Jesus, but recounts what John the Baptist reports about it. The key insight is that John sees his ministry as connected to that of Jesus. John’s baptism anticipates the baptism Jesus will confer, and John’s instruction was clearly from the same source that brings Jesus to ministry. Like John, we are connected by the same Spirit to Jesus; thus we are commissioned to do the same work.
At Home With the Word